Apple hit back at criticism it received over reports the iPhone 6 Plus model can be misshapen if kept in users’ pockets, as it rolled the new devices out to 22 additional markets.

In a statement, reported by several publications, Apple said that the warping issue was “extremely rare,” with only nine customers having complained about bending their iPhone 6 Plus.

The tech giant also noted that the enclosure of the iPhone 6 models is constructed with a special anodised aluminium tempered for extra strength. It added that rigorous tests are performed throughout the development cycle, including three-point bending, sit, torsion and user studies.

“iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus meet or exceed all of our high quality standards to endure everyday, real life use,” the statement added. The company urged consumers to get in touch if they experience problems.

iPhone 6 devices are now available in Apple Stores and retail outlets, as well as online, in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

China, however, is notable by its continued absence, although reports have suggested the new Apple smartphones are in the final stages of approval for sale in what is an increasingly critical market.

The initial launch on 19 September encompassed nine countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK. The company aims to get the new iPhones to 115 countries by the end of the year.

The company claimed to have sold a record 10 million units of its iPhone 6 and larger iPhone 6 Plus sibling over the first weekend of availability (but didn’t break out the numbers per model).

In related news, Apple started to roll out its iOS 8.0.2 update after an initial refresh caused issues with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices connecting to mobile networks and the TouchID fingerprint recognition technology.

iOS 8.0.1 was rolled out earlier this week as the company sought to address a glitch with third party apps connecting to its Health app via the HealthKit API.

However, it was pulled after the problems emerged, with Apple apologising for “the great inconvenience experienced by users”. The company claimed that less than 40,000 people were affected by the bugs in iOS 8.0.1.